Named in its initial $100m lawsuit and described as “cyber-criminals”, one of Triller’s early targets were the operators of Online2LiveStreams.us. The platform was accused of diverting a share of 2,000,000 streams away from Triller’s legal services.
The case didn’t go well with all but one of the defendants (FilmDaily.co – a case that is still pending) later dismissed by a judge who found the lawsuit to be overbroad. A month later, Triller responded by filing individual lawsuits against some of the previously-dismissed defendants. Among them was alleged Online2LiveStreams.us operator Robiul Awal and ten doe defendants.
Triller’s lawsuit alleged copyright infringement, vicarious copyright infringement, violations of the Federal Communications Act, conversion, and a violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. The suit also included a claim of false advertising after Online2LiveStream transformed itself into a scam site, offering events in exchange for credit card details but failing to deliver.
Court Warns Case Could Be Dismissed
On August 30, 2021, three months after the latest case was filed, a California district court ordered Triller to explain why the case should not be dismissed based on the failure of the plaintiff to properly serve the defendant.
“[F]ailure to timely or adequately respond to this Order may result in the dismissal of the action without further warning,” the order read.
Triller informed the court that it had experienced problems serving the defendant as they believe he resides in Bangladesh. As a result, Triller had contacted a third-party vendor to assist and was otherwise “making a good faith effort” to effect service.
On September 17, the court issued a minute order directing Triller to file either a proof of service or a status report by December 17, 2021. That date came and went but Triller remained silent.
Insufficent Due Diligence – Court Dismisses Case
In an order dated December 21, 2021, United States District Judge Otis D. Wright, II explained that despite his instructions, Triller had failed to comply with the requirements of the court.
“As of today’s date, and despite having been granted four months to do so, Plaintiff has not filed a Proof of Service or any other response to the Court’s September 17, 2021 Minute Order. Thus, although the case has been open for over six months, the Court remains without any indication that Plaintiff served Defendant or that Plaintiff has made timely, substantial efforts to serve Defendant,” the order reads.
“Plaintiff was warned that failure to effect service and to respond to the Court’s orders would result in dismissal of the case, and Plaintiff failed to provide the Court with an update regarding service as ordered.”
Noting that the due diligence standard and dismissal factors support dismissal of the case, the Judge did just that.
“Resolution on the merits is not possible due to Plaintiff’s failure to serve Defendant, and the seven-month passage of time without service of process increases the risk of prejudice to Defendant,” Judge Otis Wright notes.
“Under these circumstances, the Court finds that Plaintiff has failed to exercise sufficient due diligence, and dismissal of the action without prejudice is warranted.”
Since the case was dismissed without prejudice, it can be refiled, albeit for a third time. But, given the difficulties serving the defendant the first time around, it seems reasonable to conclude that the job won’t have become any easier with the passing of time and is unlikely to come back from the dead.
The order can be found here (pdf)